Capital for Single-Family Redevelopment: Alliance of DeKalb County
By Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP)
In 2012, Kirk Walker established Alliance of DeKalb County (ADC) to create and preserve affordable housing and to address what he realized was a set of growing community needs in South DeKalb County. The ANDP Loan Fund recently provided bridge loan financing to ADC to support the acquisition and renovation of affordable, single-family homes- a pivotal piece of the ADC mission.
Walker is no stranger to the affordable housing sector. He served as an internal auditor at the Georgia Housing Finance Authority where he developed and implemented procedures for State housing programs. From there, Walker moved on to Georgia’s state agency on housing, the Department of Community Affairs where he served as a compliance officer and ultimately an Area Housing Administrator.
With decades of experience in affordable housing program policy and housing development, and in the midst of the housing crisis, Walker realized that housing affordability, homeownership and community stability were in danger in South DeKalb. He set out to make a difference.
“I realized that more soldiers were needed on the ground,” Walker said. “When you see the community need, you act. My parents’ fight for civil rights taught me to be involved and to always give back.”
But for Walker and ADC, rebuilding communities is about more than affordable housing. The organization is focusing on holistic community development issues.
“We knew the loss of homeownership during the foreclosure crisis would impact families and communities in many ways. So, we set out to address both the quantity and quality of affordable housing. And we also seek to provide solutions for larger community concerns –issues of economic development, employment and small business development,” Walker said.
In addition to its work to address affordable housing through single-family home renovation and sale, ADC is plotting a course to address multifamily housing needs and is working with partners to create small business training opportunities in South DeKalb.
“We’re excited about supporting ADC’s efforts to address the need for quality affordable housing in South DeKalb” said John O’Callaghan, President and CEO of ANDP. “With the launch of our three-year, $20 million Home South DeKalb initiative, we are seeking to deploy more capital for community development – especially with those who have a demonstrated commitment to improving the quality of life for South DeKalb residents and neighborhoods.”
As a developer, Walker has been responsible for a development pipeline of nearly $60 million. Since creating ADC, his organization has received multiple CHDO housing grants from DeKalb County Community Development.
“It’s been helpful to work with a fellow mission-minded organization like ANDP. You don’t find many sources of capital who also want to provide affordability and address greater community needs in South DeKalb County,” Walker said.
The ANDP Loan Fund is certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Our loan fund capital is designed to address market gaps and minimize barriers to entry into the traditional lending sector. Our borrowers are non-profit or mission-oriented developers building homes that are affordable to households earning up to 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI) – with a priority on those at or below 80% AMI.